Monday, December 30, 2013

"Overthrow the Speculators"

I refer my readers to the following article published today, December 30, 2013 on, titled "Overthrow the Speculators," by Chris Hedges.  It is an idea whose time has come and it makes more sense than anything I have read in a very long time.  If we are to take back Democracy for the people of this country, we have to engage in a serious challenge to the banks, corporate capitalists, and the massive empire of corruption that is strangling the very life-blood out of this country.  Moreover, it is aided and abetted by a corporately-owned news media that serves as the mouthpiece for big business and a government monolith, both of which own our "two-party" political system and all their minions who have reduced the common people to a status akin to that of indentured servitude.

We can no longer afford to simply wring our hands, go around in endless circles and lament that "the sky is falling; the sky is falling!"  It is time to stop our penchant for the numbing of our minds by seeking to be endlessly entertained, and to join the legions of those who have come to realize that only by being actively involved will we free ourselves from the bondage of the ever-burgeoning two-class society we live in today.  "Wishing will not make it so!"  

It has been said that "truth is mightier than the sword."  Is it not time to place "truth" above all the deception and manipulation we receive on a daily basis from every conceivable kind of "entertainment," "news" and "advertising" that only serves to increase the power of those who seek to destroy this country and all of the good and decent people who want, very much, to see it become the beacon of hope we believed it to be?

"Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see."

Cowboy Bob
December 30, 2013


Monday, December 16, 2013

“Has American Democracy Run Its Course?”

I have always had a healthy respect for the Brits.  I am impressed by their sense of propriety and decorum but I am, also, impressed when I see their elected representatives in Parliament get their hackles up and really go for the jugular.  Propriety goes out the window, their voices go up several decibels and they call it for what it is, all of which leaves little to the imagination in order to discern the seriousness of the subject under discussion.

The other day, as I was watching Dianne Feinstein drawl on (as only she can do), and I suddenly became aware of the institutional hypocrisy and the blatant corruption that is so ingrained in the way our elected representatives in the Senate and the House carry on.  “My Esteemed Colleague,” “My Good Friend,” “My Fellow (whatever),” etc.  Frankly, they would carry more weight with me if they simply called a spade a spade.  I think more of us would pay serious attention to what they were saying or advocating on our behalf if they simply dispensed with all the obfuscation.  Any of us who takes the time and effort to know what they are all about probably shares our contempt with the others who suffer at their hands in one form or another.

·        The President seems handicapped by an imperial complex.

·        The Senate seems to suffer from much the same omnipotent malady as many of their historical predecessors. 

·        The House seems to suffer from a divinity complex, given that a significant number of them appear to seriously believe that God is on their side.

·        The Supreme Court either has a very mistaken notion of superiority or the majority has an identity crisis created by the long robes traditionally worn in discharging the duties of their office.   

What is more astounding is the extent to which we, the people, actually defer to those illusions, almost believing they are “our representatives” there for the sole purpose of  carrying out the will of the people.  Now, I ask you, how naive can we be?  Most of them are clearly established members in good standing of the biggest bunch of rogues and thieves to set foot in the hallowed halls of our government. 

At the end of the day, the Brits seem to have a better fix on whom and what they are all about than any of those we elect to serve in high places.  I think there is too much of a propensity in the fabric of Americans to simply shrug our shoulders, roll over and conclude there is little we can do about any given situation, so better to just make the most of it and go with the flow.  I would ask you, what has this flaw in our basic character gotten us?  The only ones who take to the streets are the young idealists who have been the most put upon by a social, economic and political climate that exploits them at every opportunity.  I think we could well do with a hell of a lot more hollering, protesting, demonstrating and other forms of disobedience than to remain complacent and let those who have the most continue to exploit those of us who have the least.  Where is the justice in all this?

The oligarchs, plutocrats, corporate capitalists, financiers, the military/industrial complex, the intelligence community, etc. are too busy making money from our resources, our ignorance and our complacency by reducing us to the status of indentured servants and destroying our environment.  And you can bet your last red cent, credit card or entitlement voucher that they are well aware of what they are doing, how to do it and how to circumvent the law and the will of the people in doing it.  Just because they live in mansions, recreate on yachts that would rival the Queen Mary and still have more money than they can spend does not mean they are any better than those who they exploit with impunity.  It is they who are the dregs of humanity, not those who suffer because of them. 

It is the super-rich and all of their minions who are the vilest among us.  They have no character, no integrity, no principles of decency, no charity, no sense of responsibility, etc.  The only concern that motivates them is their continued ability to make as much money as possible for themselves and their progeny, the rest of us be damned.  As Marie Antoinette once said of the starving peasants, our brand of affluent superiority must, also, wish for us – “Let them eat cake.”  Or, to couch those words in modern day terms, it might be more appropriate to say, “Let them eat pizza, burgers and fries, or whatever.”  You get the drift.

The term “free enterprise” is the most toxic frame of reference to which one could possibly subscribe in these perilous times for this country and, indeed, the industrialized world.  “Free enterprise” is nothing more than unbridled greed.  It sets the stage for unlimited exploitation of the human condition and the burden it puts on the backs of the most deprived upon among us.  It is the complete antithesis to a civilized society and the common people.  It is a euphemism for all they covet.  It has no limits and no sense of responsibility.  It is time to hold them to account, hold them to the law, to set limits on their authority and their ability to receive preferential treatment from our government, while those who elected them to office are told they must do with less so they can avoid paying their fair share of society’s tax burden.  They should be seriously restricted in their authority to commit the taxpayers and voters to anything that does not have the consent of the governed.

Freedom does not exist without accountability.  It is a symbiotic relationship any way you look at it.  Oversight must be provided by the people whenever it involves anything that affects the health and welfare of the people, and all the resources on which we depend, both natural and environmental.  Moreover, there must be consequences whenever any of those basic tenets are ignored or violated.

I would hope there are a few principled and dedicated people of intelligence, character and prominence who would take the time to carefully read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, then expend some time and effort to compare what we have vs. what the Founding Fathers intended.  That exercise should be followed by a serious and detailed assessment of how and where we have taken the wrong turns, and what we must do to return to the basic intent of those documents.  Until that is done, we have little chance for real improvement.  Should that be the case, all the common people can hope for, as the oligarchs and their kindred kind continue their plunder, is for the rest of us to accept the crumbs we are given.  In return, the privileged among us will continue to harbor only a greater sense of entitlement for not having taken more for themselves from those who have so little to give.

All of the patriotic rhetoric not withstanding, I seriously question whether or not what we have come to believe is our brand of democracy is viable and genuinely democratic.  How much longer are we going to accept and support what we know, in our very bones, are the means for creating a two-class society with unfathomable wealth and luxury at one extreme, and unimaginable human poverty and suffering at the other? 

The time has come for the majority of Americans to demand greater participation in the cultivating, harvesting and use of all resources essential to the common welfare of this country.  At the end of the day, it all belongs to the collective “us;” not just to a select few.  Any product or service that is essential to the public interest should, also, belong to and be managed by the people.  There is no place for privilege or individual ownership in this equation.  Public resources and public services must, of necessity, be entrusted to and administered by the public.  If the public depends on it, it must be a public trust and the combined responsibility of the public.

Now I am certain there would be a great hue and cry of “socialism” from the proponents of a “free enterprise” or “market-based” system if any system were to become more egalitarian.  I would then deduce that they probably stands to lose much more than they can surreptitiously take from those to whom the resources belong.  If socialism is perceived as bad, what can be said for a free-enterprise or market-based system as it is currently defined and practiced?  I rest my case.  The test of time has clearly shown that a real democracy, based on the will of the people and the consent of the governed is far superior to one controlled by a select few that set themselves above and apart from the rest of society; those of wealth, power and privilege. 

One of the oldest and most successful cooperative endeavors in the world is the Mondragon Society based in the Basque region of Spain.  It is still being studied by some of the best social and economic minds in the world.  Given what the average American has endured since the glory days of Bill Clinton, followed by the double-speak of Barrack Obama, and an iron-clad and closed two-party political system that paves the way for and caters to those who hold the lion’s share of wealth and power in this country, it probably has considerable merit for further serious study by intelligent minds of a more egalitarian persuasion.

I have to confess that I hold the Republican Party in contempt, largely because of the control they have given the Tea Party, all of whom I regard as religious demagogues, and what they have done to destroy the democratic foundations upon which this country was built.  By the same token, I have as much contempt for the so-called “Progressive Democrats” who manage to look the other way when our illustrious President engages in circumventing his official responsibilities and political promises with his penchant for compromise, bi-partisanship, executive orders and secret meetings.  We are manipulated as much by their failure to take him to task as we are by the tea baggers who disparage him.
We need a political system that includes all legitimate parties, open presidential conventions and clear limits on the discretionary power and privilege of those who are elected to serve us, and not just by those who exploit us and who set themselves above any accountability to the public.  We have, for much too long, tolerated and supported a situation where the cart is clearly before the horse.  We have the talent, the resources and the power to make this happen for our mutual welfare and benefit.  

We don’t need a corporately owned news media plying their biased propaganda by having news celebrities telling us what the news is all about and how we should perceive it.  They should be accountable to all of us whose collective wisdom far exceeds anything they have to tell us.  By the same token, there should be a common will to hold them to account for what they peddle.  Their first priority must always be to serve us, the people, not corporate America or the oligarchy.  We must be more proactive and less reactive in this scenario if we are to reclaim the rightful ownership by everyone who has a place on this piece of real estate called the United States of America. 

I dare say if one were to take the time and effort, it would quickly become apparent that the parliamentary system of government is infinitely superior, less costly, less cumbersome and less prone to corruption than anything ever conceived by our Founding Fathers (a significant number of whom were from the wealthy and privileged of their day).  Members of parliament are elected by popular vote of the people, serve at their pleasure, are more available to their constituents and manifest greater transparency in their conduct and service to those who put them in office.  I, also, am inclined to believe the cost of running for public office under that system takes much less time and requires considerably less money for their campaigns. 

If one were to undertake a serious study of the overall cost of a parliamentary system, I would be inclined to expect a significantly smaller cost per capita and less corruption than we witness during the laborious exercise we go through during every election cycle.  I would not be the least bit surprised to find that they, unlike our elected officials,  work many more hours, take fewer “holidays,” and accept fewer, if any, "brown envelopes" from those seeking their favor or providing aid to them in their pillage and plunder of the public treasury. 

We don’t need an imperial presidency.  The doors should be closed to those seeking preferential treatment in their access to power, privilege and money.  It should be standard procedure, in cases where there appears to be a conflict between an individual’s business interests, professional associations, or other compromises to refrain from being appointed to any office where a conflict of interest is likely to be an issue. 

We Americans need to learn to critically carefully assess those who have managed to convince us that they are paragons of virtue in every aspect of their lives, and to stop deifying them as if they were touched by the hand of God Himself. 

·        Bill Clinton is no different today than when he ran for the Presidency.  He became cozy with far too many of those who were instrumental in destroying safeguards on our financial industries that stood the test of time and which had served this country extremely well.  He is clearly in the camp of wealth, privilege and power.  They are the very ones who are doing everything they can to restructure the system so they take as much and give back as little to society as they can.  The fact that economic, social and political power is stripped from the rest of us is of no consequence.  It is simply part of the grand design used by those who want to revamp society to fit their perception of what it should be for them, and the few crumbs for all of those they have deemed to be of lesser importance to their concept of what our society should be.  Get real.  Bill Clinton is a national disgrace.  To have awarded him the Medal of Freedom was a travesty and an insult to the country.  I seriously doubt that Hillary’s aspirations for the Presidency are any different.  It is a small club and they look out for each other.  Their brand of ambition and greed has no limits.    

·        Barrack Obama ran and was elected as a Democrat.  He should reacquaint himself with what that label means.  He sure as hell couldn't claim to be one now.  I think we have had enough of his pandering to wealth, power and privilege.  All the while he tries to mesmerize and seduce us with his lofty speeches, he proceeds to give away the store to his political adversaries in the name of “compromise” and “bipartisanship.”  I think we have been screwed long enough by him and his adoring fans.  Those who call themselves “Progressives” need to re-assess the color of their stripes, stand with and for the common people of this country, and stop lining their pockets with favors and "brown envelopes" at the expense of those barely keeping their heads above water.  Not everyone is a fool and they damned well need to keep that in mind. 

·        Justices need to stay focused on adjudicating, not stacking the deck and raping the Constitution for the sake of rendering opinions that clearly benefit only the most despicable among us – the oligarchs, plutocrats, the corporate capitalists, the financiers, the military-industrial complex, ad nauseum. 

·        We, as the traditional beacon of hope for so many around the globe, have a moral obligation to devote every conceivable effort and resource we can garner to saving this planet and conserving its resources for all of us.  No amount of disparaging the greatest scientific minds we have, by those who only care about great wealth and power, can trump science and ignore reality.  Science is focused on what it knows and its ability to use that knowledge for the greater good. I would submit that is a far more noble endeavor than the endless pursuit of greed in all of its sullied forms.  

·        It is almost quixotic that those who are hell bent on taking all of us down the road to ruin somehow have managed to convince themselves that they and their progeny will eventually own and control the entire world.  It would seem all that wealth, power and privilege has managed to blind them to a reality we all share.  I got news for them; the odds are against all of us, in equal measure, including the likes of them.    

The Brits might just have a better mouse trap.  Although not at all probable, in the final analysis I think I would rather have a parliamentary system of government representing us in Washington, D.C., if we cannot or will not clean up the mess we currently have.  Any way you look at it, a reigning monarch in the throne room of a proper palace has an aura of constancy and stability.  If you ask me, it sure as hell beats Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office of the White House.

Don’t give up hope.  Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.     

Cowboy Bob
December 16, 2013    





Thursday, December 12, 2013

"The Finest Take On Our Current Times I Have Read To Date"

December 12, 2013

I have been deeply touched by every person who has taken the time and effort to read this blog over the years that I have been writing.  I cannot thank you enough for the time and effort you have accorded me by your kind and generous patience.  However, nothing I have written or could write would ever compare with what I have just finished reading.

I make no apologies for my view of the world and what I think should be an integral part of the fabric of every decent, kind, generous and compassionate person occupying space on this planet.

I would encourage each and every one of you to go to and read the following article published by today, Thursday, December 12, 2013  by one of the preeminent intellectuals and journalists of our time, Bill Moyers.  If his wisdom does not touch your heart and your very soul, then you are much the poorer for it.

I thank Bill Moyers for what he has committed to paper and I sincerely hope you will be equally moved by his words, as well.

My very best wishes to you.  Now is the time to get involved while we still can.

Cowboy Bob

Re:  Published on Thursday, December 12, 2013 by
       Plutocracy Versus Democracy
       by Bill Moyers